Friday, September 30, 2011

A big shell, the tempest, and some Mail Art

 Last week, when I went to see the Peruvian embroidery exhibit, I strolled around the Lora Robins gallery and stood in awe before this gigantic clam shell. It's enormous. I wish I'd put something next to it so you could judge the size. Okay, my head would fit inside for one thing.
 Last Monday, we had torrential rains. They came so fast and heavy that we had an instant flood. I snapped this through my screen door. Sheets of water fell from the sky.
 This is #303 in a series I started the other day. The line is from a drawing by a 3 year old.
 In France, a friend gave me several old calling cards. I rediscovered them this morning and laid out four cards.
 I went off to Spanish Meet-up then went off to see an exhibit, which was fabulous and inspiring,  called Art=text=Art.
 I couldn't wait to get home to finished this series, #304, 304a,b,&c.
This was the only card with no black border so I felt like it need more to it. I added the rubber stamps that make it look so official. What I couldn't find were old French postage stamps. I used to have lots of them. I found tons of other countries.  The stamps I used are pretty old ones, so that worked fine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A new year, more mail, and more about the tree.

 Tomorrow, a new year starts in the Jewish calendar. Year 5772! Wow! I am making the traditional honey cake and have laid out the ingredients. The recipe can be found here. It's in my archive for September 2010.
 This card is for the #300th day of my Mail Art 365 project. Some days I make and send more than one, so technically, this is not the 300th card. The simplicity of it, pleases me enormously. I was fortunate to find good images to appropriate.
 This is #301, and you can see that I was using same source images and format.
This is today's card, #302. I debated about adding the circle, feeling that it was pretty good without it, but the more I looked at it, the better the circle looked. I gave it one of the maths titles: Time and Space Complexity.

There is an article about the tree in Paradise Park, that got torn out by Hurricane Irene. Remember that I couldn't name it. Katerina sent me information that seemed to prove it was an Ash tree, but an article in a local newspaper, written by an acquaintance of ours, says differently. The story includes some great old photos. Click on THIS!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

a yummy dessert and Mail Art

 We went to a cooking lesson dinner tonight with our friends. The chef had donated this dinner for 4 last year at the Richmond Peace Education Center auction and we got it. We learned a lot and ate a lot. What an experience. This was the dessert. A fruit tart! We have the recipes for everything we ate and we're going to attempt to make some of the dishes. Now to buy a torch!! Yes, caramelize those bananas!
 For today's mail art, I used some of my restaurant recipes from this week. Since I had reconciled the check book and was going to toss them, when I realized that I hadn't made a receipt collage in forever! Joe's Inn is our local and we go there often, while Stella has opened her own new place, Stella's, which makes us so happy - the best spanakopita and tiropita and saganaki, among other delights. City Dogs is the place Chuck tried out yesterday Somehow circles ties this all together for me. The varying sizes give the piece some depth, so it's not so flat.

Here are some more circles. Adamandia, from Chicago, sent me this piece. The yellow lines are stitching! They mimic the drawn blue lines. Pretty cool!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Embroidery, Mail Art, and more

 Yesterday, a group of us from my Spanish Meet-up went to see an exhibit of embroidered works from Peru. They were quite wonderful. It was really interesting to see how the makers created movement and shading. I really liked the ones using the natural fibers for the colors.
 Does this remind you of Swiss cheese? Several people thought it did. I like that my Mail Art can "say" different things to different people.
 I had a lot of faces from some advert from the 1960s. The circle is punched out of a current advert for a printing service. I think the expressions on the faces leaves this one open to lots of titles. Got a good one?
 We went off to see an exhibit at a gallery across the river this morning and on the way over there, we passed by this tiny hot dog restaurant, City Dogs. We found a parking place, which is rare in that neighborhood and went in. My honey had been wanting to try the place for awhile. He ordered a Chicago Style hot dog and he said it was pretty reminiscent of the ones he'd eaten in Chicago. I wasn't hungry so I munched on a few of his French fries, which were good, and drank some sweet iced tea. Oh yes, I've gone southern!! (turns out that they have another one in our neighborhood, but we'd never noticed it!)
I came across this drawing that Nate had delivered to me awhile back. I took a really good look at it this time, and wow, check out the characters in the vehicle. Animal heads and people legs. And is that an alligator on a leash? And someone descending (or ascending) from a star? So delightful.

By the way, I just posted a recipe for a dip that I just made. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Documentary, mail art, and a hall

 I went for an appointment this morning, and this corridor reminded me in someways of the one in the Cite in Paris. A long hall with doors on either side and a window at the end. So simple, so unidentifiable, so quiet.  I wanted to take this photo as I won't see this again. My dermatologist is moving to a new office space.
This is my mail art piece on day #296 today. Another story about Tiny Town. Can you guess what the title might be?

This evening, we watched a documentary called Wasteland, about the Brazilian artist Vic Muniz and the workers at the landfill in Rio called Jardim Gramacho. It was very moving and if you can get hold of a copy of it, I highly recommend seeing it.

Mail art Update

 I discovered that I had 3 postcard blanks in a shiny green paper. Oh, so perfect for something simple
 I used some pieces of type cut from a LIFE magazine, circa 1965
 A think strip of Washi tape completed my designs. I got some fun comments on them when I posted them on Facebook. I really like how BOLD they are.
 This piece was done before the text pieces. The "divided" is a handtag from something my honey purchased awhile ago. It's done with an iridescent, holographic magic ink! The text is French, and a bit of Washi tape to finish it up.

More Tiny Town activity.
 Tuesday was the 2nd of 6 sessions of my 2d-Design class. We did the random experiences. They're a lot of fun and generate good examples of design principles.
Circles and squares, randomly placed, and secured. Next step, isolate an area, followed by discussion. Make something new!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mail Art and more

 I was going through my boxes of received mail art. I pulled out some items that came in envelopes, including this postcard, which I altered a bit and am sending back to the person who sent it. I think she'll be surprised as I've had it for a year or more.
 This arrived a couple of days ago. A colorfully painted envelope filled with IUOMA items including my very own membership card. This is exciting. It was sent by Ruud Janssen, the founder of the IUOMA.
Yesterday, we attended a wedding. It was lovely. Here's a photo that I took with my cell phone, which I'm seeing as a painting from another era, with the women in long dresses, right? I might need to start painting again inspired by this.

What an interesting weekend. A memorial service and a wedding, two life cycle events. Keeps one grounded, that's for sure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wow, it's already Sunday!

 Yesterday was a sad day. It was gray and drizzly, and we went to the memorial service for our colleague/friend Jerry. There was a big bowl of button/pins for us to wear. They were photos of Jerry at all different ages. My honey chose the one of Jerry when he was a student and we first met him. I chose the photo of how he looked my last chat with him at the pool this summer.  We went off to lunch after the service and had a beer in his memory, balancing the pins on the rims of the glasses. He was a real sweet guy!

 I decided to add one of my sunglasses people and see what I could come up with. It seemed like comments were being made, by using more of those practice bits, which made it asemic. I like the way it turned out.
 Okay, I have to say, I cracked myself up with this one. I've had this guy in my supply of scraps for quite some time and never could figure out what to do with him. His smile was just so good!  To say I'm pleased with this one is an understatement. I love the way it turned out. 
 This is today's mail art. I was searching through the scraps for a face but this basket of apples somehow just worked. Maybe it's the crispness in our weather at the moment or my thinking about the good applesauce that we made, waiting to be eaten by us. In any case, the residents of Tiny Town are presented with a big problem. How the heck will they get those out of the basket, how will they distribute them, how will people get them into their homes? Notice how they stand their in confusion looking at the basket?

Our doorbell rang yesterday afternoon. It was the neighbor girls. Sage held this up! They were both excited to tell us about their new dog.  Cute drawing, right? They said that their dog doesn't exactly look like this.   I can't wait to see the real deal.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My class and mail art, too.

 My 2-d Design class started this past Tuesday night. I have a lovely group of adults, who jumped right into the experiences that I offered up.
 We started out with squares and some ideas and then develop the principles of design from that.
 Any of my former VCU students, who might read this blog, will remember these experiences.
 Today's mail art included part of an old postcard, more of my playing around with new rubber stamps, and Washi tape. I am loving making simple Mail Art. Not sure where I'll send this one, yet.
 Here's a photo of some of my veggies from the farm, and some items that M brought from the farm in Maryland. I may have posted this before, but I am so so very fond of farm goodies.
This is one of my favorite photos of two photographers, who found interesting views in two directions. Quite adorable, yes? It was taken last spring at the zoo in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mail art update, other stuff, and some geese

 This was such a cool image to me. As M and I walked behind VMFA yesterday, after having been to the Virginia Historical Society to see a terrific exhibit, we saw these painters. They were the same color as the building and, to me, looked like a Georg Segal sculpture. Cool, right?   We were headed to the post office, with a stop for the ribbon cutting at our newly refurbished branch library. Fun!
 Mail art #286 makes me laugh. I used the back end of an illustration of a prehistoric fish that lived back when Jamestown was settled (1607-ish.) My comment had to do with the residents thinking this was something from M. Melies studio, like a big hot air balloon.
 This one is 286a. A pensive looking boy, gazing at the tiny men on tiny horses following tiny dogs.
 We scored some tiny (yes, that word again) alphabet stamp sets at the craft store on Monday. Only $1, which is a good deal, indeed. I was playing around with the stamps and decided to use the bits for collage.
 Every time I get back to some minimal cards, I feel satisfied. Something about the LESS-ness of them, satisfies me. A couple three scraps, a bit of Washi tape, et voila, minimal mail art.
 This morning was the first day of our new year of Spanish class. On the way home, I took the short cut through Byrd park and...there were birds there. Geese were all over the place. I put my phone out the window and snagged a couple of images.
Fortunately, there were no cars behind me so I could stop. They weren't making a sound. Must be the stop over on the way south, right?

Monday, September 12, 2011


 Two days ago, M and I went to the Tredegar Iron Works site, which is now a museum of the Civil war.  It's very interesting, lots of photos, lots of text, all in the huge old iron works building. The text tells the history from three viewpoints, the North, the South and the Slave. These old walls have so much to tell us. There are several of the original buildings on the site and some of the old machinery, but some things have been recreated. This site, by the way, is only a mile and a half from my house.
 M gave me a book she just finished called MARCH by Geraldine Brooks. It's the story of the father in the book Little Women. I just started reading it and it's very interesting. It takes place during the American Civil War.
 Yesterday, and today, M and I attended a symposium at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on the work of Xu Bing. I was familiar with his Book from the Sky, which we saw installed at the Sackler in Washington DC. Now, he's done a project at the museum using tobacco.  The exhibit is amazing and hearing the panels of scholars yesterday, and Xu Bing today, was very informative.  I'm glad we decided to attend this.
 This is the studio school of the VMFA. I'll be teaching my 2-d Design classes here for the next six weeks starting this Tuesday evening. I'm very happy to be doing this again.  I'll be in that 2nd floor studio, in the further building.
 This is what's left of the HUGE 100 year old tree that fell over in the storm and knocked out the power to the studio school. That's the back of the building. The tree, fortunately to state the obvious, didn't fall on the school building, just fell across power lines.
 I snapped this behind the museum during the lunch break yesterday. It was so sunny and the grounds are now complete including sculpture.
This is my 9/11 commemoration Mail Art. I was thinking a lot about what I might do and, while walking home from the symposium, it came to me that I had to do a quote about fear. My rubber stamp technique left something to be desired, but still, it worked out okay.